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Current Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge Matthew Johnson announced last week that he would not seek reappointment to the chief role when his term ends on Oct. 31. Johnson will continue to serve on the court as a judge. Cleary, who was Dayton's first appointment to the appeals court in 2011, will move into his new role in November. He will serve a three-year term.

Dayton appoints Judge Edward Cleary as chief of state appeals court

Judge Edward Cleary

Judge Edward Cleary

Gov. Mark Dayton has appointed current Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge Edward Cleary to the chief role on the court.

Current Minnesota Court of Appeals Chief Judge Matthew Johnson announced last week that he would not seek reappointment to the chief role when his term ends on Oct. 31. Johnson will continue to serve on the court as a judge. Cleary, who was Dayton’s first appointment to the appeals court in 2011, will move into his new role in November.  He will serve a three-year term.

“I know that Judge Cleary will provide principled, innovative and effective leadership as the chief justice of the Minnesota Court of Appeals,” Dayton said as a press event Wednesday.

Prior to his appointment on the Court of Appeals, Cleary served as the assistant chief judge for the Second Judicial District, where he was appointed by Independence Party Gov. Jesse Ventura in 2002. Cleary was also an assistant public defender for Ramsey County and served as director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

“It would be a mistake to think the chief runs the place,” Cleary said of his new role. “We operate as a team.”

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